Many people have been talking lately about the possibility of a touch screen iMac or other such things. The craze is obviously fueled by the very popular and very well-designed iPhone. The touch screen works great on the iPhone, right, so wouldn't it be great on our iMacs, too? Not ... at ... all. The problem here lies in the radically different way that these two devices are used. Despite videos circulating supposedly showing people using touch screen iMacs, the honest truth is, it's a bad idea from the start. Although the future could reveal a very niched and particular usage for some technology like this on our desktops, it will NOT replace the keyboard/mouse by any means. Why? There's a lot of reasons, so forgive me, and let me get started #1 Touch screen keyboards are inferior to real keyboards. Sure, it looks cool, but do you want to have to curve your hands upwards to type? If you do, you're a glutton for carpel tunnel syndrome, or repetitive stress injuries at the very least. Besides, you get zero tactile feedback, so people who type without looking (like me) have no idea if they've totally screwed it up or not. Additionally, typing on a desktop screen would mean constant switching of the screen's position to get either a decent viewing angle, or a decent typing angle. Bad! #2 Touch screen as a replacement for a mouse is a huge step backwards Mice are wonderful. The computer mouse is pure genius, and it allows a lot of things to happen that were never previously feasible. One of those things is very fast, very accurate input. With a mouse, you can move windows, click on icons, browse websites, play FPS games, and edit documents with large amounts of text. Try editing on Word with your finger... you'll have to use your nail (if you have one) to get the cursor in-between two characters. It's just a horrible replacement for a mouse, and we only do it on the iPhone because it's designed as a portable device that can't use a real mouse! It's a plan B kind of device, the kind you use when a mouse isn't feasible. #3 It's exhausting! Have you ever worked a job where you had to stand in a single spot and use your arms constantly, holding them up at chest level? If you have, you know that you get exhausted; the only consolation is that you are making large movements with your arms, and it keeps them exercised. Now, try sitting at a desk, and put a towel on your computer monitor. Now, make minute movements of the towel with just one finger, and try to tap individual threads of the towels in multiple places. Keep doing this for 5 minutes. Your arms are probably already tired! Now try to do it for 3 hours at work! Your arms will fall off, or they'll strangle you for putting them that! #4 It encourages bad posture It's nearly impossible to keep good posture while doing that, just because it's so exhausting. Inevitably, you're going to start slouching and getting lazy. Even though many of us already do it, we'll do it more, because we'll get tired of our position faster. Not healthy... #5 You still have to keep your keyboard and mouse around The touch screen can't replace either input device. In the iPhone, it works as a viable substitute for the medium. For a desktop, you'll definitely keep your mouse and keyboard. Therefore, after you get bored of showing your friends your geeky new toy, you'll start using the touch feature less and less, and notice you've gone right back to using the keyboard/mouse combo. Why? Cause it's infinitely more efficient, more comfortable, less tiring, and more accurate. A keyboard/mouse input interface wins hands-down over a touch screen interface any day (for daily home and office use). Sure, it's great for kiosks, but how long do you stand at a kiosk? Just long enough to get something done, and move on. Check your tickets at the airport, place an order, get directions, etc. #6 You'll pay more for a feature you virtually never use Who likes to pay for stuff they don't use? I didn't see any hands go up, although we've all done it, went and bought something we never end up using. Touch screens seem cool, but it's one of those things that people think the future will bring because it looks futuristic. Well, it's here, it's possible, and we still aren't doing it for home/work computing. Why? It's just not an ideal, or even a good solution to home/work computer usage interfaces. Why pay for what you really don't need, and will rarely use? Sorry for the soapbox, but I wanted to encourage people to stop getting excited over something that's not gonna happen, and even if it did, that's not gonna be good. Let's hope Apple isn't dumb enough to try to make a touch screen iMac, because it'll be another Nintendo VirtualBoy (yeah, remember that? totally bombed). Nintendo thought virtual reality was the future, now where did it go? It's "virtually" non-existant -- pun intended.